Sale Saves 20 Jobs at Livingston Kaiam Computer Firm

Sub-Micrometer Laser Welding (UK) – KAIAM

Administrators for the computer firm have confirmed the sale of Kaiam’s Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC) division to a Chinese tech company. 

KPMG, administrators for Kaiam, have sold the part-collapsed computer firm’s Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC) division to Chinese-owned tech firm Broadex UK, which was Planar’s biggest customer.

The acquisition will see Broadex UK, a newly formed division of its Shanghai-based parent company, take over sales processes and operations from the existing Livingston site.

As a result of the deal, 20 jobs will be spared redundancy. The Chinese buyer behind the acquisition has expressed confidence that the purchase will lead to further job creation, and hopes to make West Lothian a tech innovation centre.

Joint administrator Blair Nimmo, KPMG’s global head of restructuring, said: “We are very pleased to have concluded the sale of Kaiam Europe’s PLC division to Broadex UK – a sale which preserves 20 highly-skilled jobs and knowledge within Scotland.

Recommended: MSPs Question Scottish Enterprise Over Kaiam Plant Closure in Livingston

“The new owners have expressed a keen desire to grow the PLC business, which could lead to new jobs being created. We wish the new owners every success.”

Wei Zhu, CEO of Broadex Technologies, commented: “We are excited to have the opportunity of acquiring this world class manufacturer and working with talented engineers to re-establish this place as a PLC powerhouse.

“This Livingston site has historically made significant contributions to the development of PLC technologies, and we intend to make this place the centre of technological innovations again by new investment and adaption to new market conditions. We are committed to making this happen.”

Before the part-collapse of Kaiam, which saw more than 300 people made redundant on Christmas Eve 2018 with no pre-Christmas pay, the Livingston facility was one of the world’s highest volume PLC production sites.

When the company went into administration, Kaiam bosses told workers to continue working despite seemingly knowing they would not be paid, sparking public outrage and an outpouring of support for the staff.

Since then, there have been inquiries into the handling of the situation at the factory and the role played by Scottish Enterprise.

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